Let’s talk some about two of my favorite things today: food garnishes and avocado flowers. I get a lot of questions about them on instagram, and it’s a running joke in my friend group that a good way to lose my friendship is to squash my avocado flowers.
Honestly, I didn’t even know avocado flowers were a thing until about a year ago. But I’ve had a longtime belief that food that is delicious, should also be beautiful. I know, I know, the process seems unnecessarily complicated–but I’ve figured out a few ways to simplify the process + some tips on buying the right avocados for what you need.
Before we start, know that I’m not someone who makes avocado roses every day. I make them maybe 1-2 a week and on special occasions when we host. The rest of the time I usually just slice and plate them. While we’re on the topic of avocados, let me tell you my three favorite things about avocados:
- They are a great source of vitamin E, which is especially great for your hair and skin. Have an avocado that is too far gone for eating? If you mash it up and put it in your hair for an hour, and then wash it off, you’ll get the most natural, affordable hair mask out there. Seriously y’all, it leaves your hair sooo silky smooth!
- Because they are high in good fats, avocados act as nutrient boosters that help you better absorb the fat-soluble nutrients that you consume along with them. That means that they make it easier for your body to get the most of good nutrients you’re eating.
- THEY ARE MAGIC. Dairy free? You can use them as butter replacement in baking, as a spread on your toast, in guacamole, in your salsas, in your caldos, plain on tortillas. Literally, they’re like the little black dress of foods.
If you don’t like avocados, wait a few years. Supposedly your taste buds change every 5-7 years. I know this for a fact because I used to not like avocados when I was growing up. I know, I hate myself for it, too. Since then I run a taste test every couple of years on foods I don’t like just to see if anything has changed. So far my tastebuds still agree that baked beans, beets, and pickles have NO business in my mouth. Ever. However brussel sprouts are easing their way into the yes list.
On choosing avocados
When I go to the grocery store, avocados are almost always on my grocery list. They’re a breakfast staple for me, and we pretty regularly make guac, or eat avocados with our Latin American meals. Because of that I buy avocados in varying arrays of ripeness.
- My first Pick of avocado is mostly green on the exterior and feels somewhat like a baseball bat. These are my late week avocados, and I usually buy about 1-2 of these depending on my menu for the week.
- My second pick of avocado is mostly black on the exterior, and moderately firm when pressed on. These are my avocado flower avocados.
- My third pick of avocado is all black on the exterior and soft to the touch–these are great for skin care, hair care, and guacamole, as the ripeness lends itself for a very smooth guacamole.
A nice tip I learned growing up, was to always pull out the little stem stub at the top of the avocado to make sure you aren’t buying one with brown on the inside. Your avocados should be light green at the stem. Like this:
How To Make Avocado Roses
There are a couple different styles of making avocado roses. This is my preferred way because it makes my roses look like big, beautiful garden roses. Now that I’ve made them for a while, this usually takes me about a minute and a half.
OK, now time for avo roses:
First, you want to make sure you have the right kind of avocado. Remember: mostly black on the outside, moderately firm to touch, and pale green at the stem. Cut your Avocado in half.
This level of ripeness will allow you to simply peel off the avocado skin.
Start slicing your avocado. You’ll want your first few pieces to be extremely thin because you’ll be rolling these up.
Start placing the slices in a line that overlaps
Using your knife to wedge under the first slice, begin to roll up your avocado slices.
This creates the base of your rose.
At this point your pieces can get a little wider, as this is what creates the garden rose look. Rather than lining these up, I just add these onto the base rose one by one until I’ve reached the desired size, or I finish the first half of the avocado.
Finally add your garnish to your meal! These are great on toast, with eggs, as a platter for brunch or a side to your salad.
Like I said, these aren’t something I do everyday. Just personally, I know I enjoy adding personal touches to my food every once in a while to spruce it up. It also makes for great pictures and there’s NO hiding the fact that I practically take a picture of everything that I eat. What can I say? It makes for easy food logging.
And speaking of food logging, I’ve got some news:
Starting next Thursday, Ben and I will be doing Whole 30. If you’ve never done Whole 30, it’s a food detoxing program where you eliminate certain foods from your diet for 30 days to detox, refresh, and discover any food sensitivities you might have developed. As part of the program you commit to 30 days without dairy (I’m crying already), grains (corn, quinoa, rice, gluten), legumes, sugar (as well as syrups, honeys +sweeteners), several chemicals and preservatives, and alcohol.
We’ve done it once before, and while it is DEFINITELY challenging, we loved the results & how great we felt while we were doing it + after. This year we’re choosing to do it because we just need to reset and get back in the habit of eating a balanced diet (read: we’ve sucked at eating fruits and vegetables this year), and I’m on the lookout for any foods I’ve grown sensitivities to, as I’ve recently had a good bit of heartburn and reflux.
If this sounds like something you want to do, or you’ve done it in the past and it’s time to start again, I’d love to invite you to join us. I’ll be doubling down on efforts to post recipes, and will be instagramming our experience. If you join us I promise to be a source of support + not be one of those annoying people that never complains (spoiler alert: I turn into a baby around week 3 of whole 30). If you want to learn more about it, or you TOTALLY want to join in with us, this book is a great resource that is full of recipes, day-by-day guides to your body’s detoxing, and all the rules + grocery shopping suggestions.
If you have any questions about Whole 30, feel free to shoot them my way! I know committing to a program like this is definitely hard, and it takes a lot of support and preparation to get through it. Just know we’ll be here to navigate that with, and doing things in community gives us healthy accountability and encouragement.
Love, healthy commitments, and avo roses,